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Could your identity be funding terrorism?

by Neal O'Farrell on January 23rd, 2012

If you’re still looking for a reason to get more serious about protecting against identity theft, then do it for your country. In a series of recent hacks on customers of AT&T, attackers were apparently able to steal more than $2 million by making fake calls to premium call services.

It now appears that the money made from the attack was funneled to a Saudi-based militant group that is also believed to have helped fund the deadly 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai India where the coordinated series of attacks claimed more than 160 lives.

Identity theft for terrorism is nothing new. According to a report by MSNBC as far back as 2004, the 911 Commission raised the troubling reality that stolen identities are aiding terrorists. The Millennium Plot, which consisted of a number of planned attacks around the world back in 2000, was organized by a terror cell that used credit card fraud to fund its activities, and there are even claims the terrorists planned to invest in a gas station to make it easier to steal multiple identities.

The MSNBC report also claimed that Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, suspected of being connected to the 9/11 attacks, had a laptop in his possession that contained 1,000 stolen credit cards when he was arrested.

And an expert on identity theft at the University of Michigan claims that al Qaida manuals she has seen include instructions on how to commit fraud and steal identities, to live off stolen identities when in hiding, and even requires students to leave their training camps with at least five fake identities.

Yet another reason to take identity more seriously. It’s about much more than zero liability, and the impact the crime can have on you personally. If you’re careless with your identity and it makes it into the wrong hands, who knows what horrors could be committed in your good name.

Manila says arrested hackers funded by Saudi group

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